Hollie B: Met the goddess and became a witch

hollie b hugging a treeHollie B is facing the year of the Saturn Return with such beautiful courage I wanted to profile her as an Aussie Goddess. Although it’s the time of upheaval and change for Hollie, she has faith in the Goddess that she is on the right path with her sisters, and her true loves. 

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Dear Anita,

Thankyou so much for this Goddess opportunity. It is so lovely to be featured amongst many beautiful Goddess women. May my story bring hope, passion and healing to the beautiful women who may ever feel as though they are trapped in the struggle. xox

I love the Goddess. I love the belief in a Divine Feminine soul to this very Universe we live within. She is nature and love and growth and change. She is all the bounties of this fine Earth. It just makes sense to love Her.

When I was a teenager my mother was meeting with groups of spirit women, making fires on the beach under the full moon, and eating whole foods. My mother’s friends brought medicine cards and drums to our house. They held Usui Reiki classes in our living room, while people were in trance, channelling extra-terrestrial beings downstairs.

I was a teenager, and I thought they were a bunch of weirdos! We lived in a tiny bush town on the Ninety Mile Beach, and this group of people were not the norm. When my mother ‘came out’ about her activities, the church ladies came over for a special morning tea (aka intervention). That was enough to appeal to my rebellious teenage heart, and I was swept up into the land of the Goddess.

At the local alternative book / health food / eco store / healing centre where I worked I was exposed to so many different types of people with so many varying spiritual and healing interests, but with one guiding similarity – love, growth and change. There I learnt about the Goddess. At the time too, Witchcraft was a media phenomenon. The film The Craft was released, Fiona Horne was on the television and all of my girlfriends wanted to be a sexy witch with the powers of nature at their finger tips. While they bought Spell books and tried to make their enemies suffer, I was finding that the energies were very real to me, and could be used in such different ways. There was Truth in this ‘stuff’. I could see a difference in the way our family ate and lived that really resonated with nature. Through my mother’s friendship circle I was directed to ‘reputable’ books on Witchcraft. I sifted through the dogma and found the Truth of nature and the Goddess’s own stories of Earth. Within the Sabbatts – seasonal festivals celebrated by witches and pagans – I saw the changes in the animals, the growth of the flowers, and best of all, the feeling of the change of seasons.

To me, this is the essence of Witchcraft. It is the essence of the Goddess. She is the story of growth and change. She is Love.

Growing up and moving out

And so, the wheel of change turned for me; I had to grow up and go to University. The adventure began. I’d never been to Canberra before I moved here. So, perhaps I have a notable pattern of rolling up my sleeves and jumping straight in. It’s a fast way to bring change, and hopefully, if the lessons within the journey are learned, the growth will come with it. I came to Canberra, stopped brushing my hair, wore bare feet, and desperately searched for the wonderful sacred spaces of the country.

And always the Goddess was my drive. As much as I searched, I could not find the bliss of the healing, sacred environment I had come from, and so She drove me from the inside. I connected with ‘communities’ who purported to share my philosophies and beliefs. More often than not I found people whom I had little in common with, yet for some reason I persisted, hoping to find the safe, sacred space I had once known. In hindsight, it was as though my True eyes were closed while I dedicated my mind to staying open – too open. I sat in on intellectual discussions about the matter of Spirit..? I listened to various opinions about ‘what is magick?’ and I was bored! At the same time I pushed for ceremony and circles, hoping to find a depth in connection. My faith in the Goddess’ Truth was my direction throughout, feeling a pull to contentment within the Mysteries.

Entering the Dark

When my relationship ended with my son’s father I had grown tired of love and light and happiness. I was in a shadowy place, and wished to reflect that in my work. We the Temple of the Moon was founded upon my suggestion with two other Priestesses, with the sole purpose of bringing women to their depth, through their own Darkness. It was an awakening time for me. The gentle pull of the Goddess’ void pushed me to grow up.

So many changes, so many lessons, so many opportunities for growth. We the Temple of the Moon (WETOM) shifted from three to two Priestesses. At the same time, I was creating a public space, my own version of the alternative book / eco store / healing centre but with a very strong tone of Witch.

What seemed to be a culmination

At the end of 2005 I opened Lunation Store in the ‘city district’ of Canberra. Only a few months later my daughter was born, but by this time I could already see my relationship with her father for what it really was. I also saw no way out, so I threw myself into work. Five weeks after her birth, my daughter and I were back at work full time. In the time I should have been bonding at home with her I was conceiving all manner of great new ventures for my business. I came back and built The Goddess Shrine.

The Goddess Shrine launched in September 2006 as a permanent public space for the Goddess. My thinking was that if the Church had altars where people could come and light candles, asking God to hear their prayers, where was the Goddess’s candle shrine? I rallied a group of Priestesses, we built a Shrine in the back of the Lunation temple, we wrote a Water Ceremony for the prayers, and The Goddess Shrine was born.

I felt at the time that this work was the culmination of my efforts of the previous years spent searching for the love, growth and change landmarks of the Goddess in Canberra. The temple filled with interested, passionate people each month. My mother donated her sacred statue of the Goddess who had been handmade by one of the women from her own circle, and she became the ‘face’ of The Goddess Shrine. Together we sang to the Goddess, and a community seemed to be developing. I was immersed in the land of the Goddess, and I forgot about the world outside.

All at the same time, I had forgotten about the world inside, and the shackles of Post-Natal Depression gripped tight. Weight fell off my body and most days I was suicidal. I knew I would never be happy in my relationship, but convinced myself ‘you chose it, you do it’. I did ritual and ceremony with my daughter’s energy, trying to find a way to connect. I hated myself for not flowing in the energy I believed in so strongly – of the Mother Goddess and Divine life. I wondered where had I gone? Only a few years before I had been the care-free Earth Mama, bare foot with my son in a carry sling and directing powerful Moon Circles. I would write beautiful poetry for ceremony. Now every public ritual was a chore. My creativity had dried up early with my mama’s milk, and the Earth was dry under my feet. I rarely cooked a meal or dug the herbs in the garden.

In 2007, with a major workshop coming up and no creative inspiration within my heart I went to the beach to find Aphrodite. Sitting on the rocks, with water around my ankles and the moon in the sky I suddenly realised that I had not been on a beach for over two years. In the sand, singing to the Goddess, feeling Aphrodite’s loving wings wrap around my, by this time, frail structure I wept. Back in Canberra the following week I told my daughter’s father it was over. My children and I had been wasting away in angst and unhappiness for too long. We had nowhere to live, and the Store was not making enough money to support us in the Canberra rental market. He let us stay for a few weeks, until he told us to leave. We went to a refuge.

I must have had a good poker face back then, because very few people knew what was going on. Customers and friends came in and out as normal. I continued Spell consults and tarot readings and apparently to the public, life seemed ‘normal’. While we stayed at the refuge I travelled to Queensland and presented my Aphrodite workshop at the Goddess Conference. I began to heal. My weight increased almost immediately. We were offered a house 5 minutes from my Store and in a day I had moved us in. And then it was 2008.

The year of adventure

My years in the Lunation Store gave me plenty of time to study relationship with the Canberra Seasons, and I facilitated many a workshop and ceremony about the Goddess Mysteries in each season. It is still my favourite part of ceremony work, and when I was asked by some of the women to facilitate ‘Priestess Training’, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to really delve into the Mysteries. So, in keeping with my pattern of rolling up my sleeves and jumping straight in I devised a thirteen month Priestess Path, where we met most weeks exploring the seasons, the Goddess in all Her guises, personal power, spellcrafting, Moon magicks and anything else that came up over the time. In the meantime for the second time in Lunation’s life I was running a house on my own, running a shop on my own and trying to find myself after all that had been lost in those years of unhappiness.

I called 2008 the year of adventure. I was not content to leave things how they were. There were layers of fear and darkness hanging around, and depression would still visit me on and off. In my time as a ‘public Priestess’ I had collected all manner of hangers on and energy suckers. I began to recoil from groups of people, and I dedicated myself to receiving all of the abundance that I deserved. I gave myself to the Mother ocean and let Her heal the rift with my daughter. I made a choice to open my heart, no matter how painful and frightening the process was. I believed so truly in a Sacred Divine Twin Flame Lover match to myself. But I also believed, that I was not ready for him yet.

I have never been content to stop at the edge. I believe that things happen for a reason. In the first half of 2008 I lost many ‘friends’. At the same time my Store was getting more new customers and online sales increased. One afternoon, as I was preparing to head to the coast, a very sweet man walked into the Store. I recognised him as the Bass Player from a friend’s band with whom I’d shared a very quick dance with at a concert a few weeks before. What a coincidence, I had only been telling my staff about him moments before! He stayed for a tarot reading and the next we saw each other it was a very fancy date.

The Priestess Path was still developing with its own shape and the women who continued after the first few months found their ‘groove’. We supported one another through our darkness, and shone light on each others’ shadows. Ten years on I had become my mother and her ‘weirdo’ friends! We ran workshops in my lounge room while the kids were sleeping. We drummed to the moon and sang to the Goddess, and I was channelling teachings I didn’t even know I understood!

I continued to date the Bass Player from the concert, and suddenly I was in True Love. This truth of the Twin Flame has taught me so much, and helped me focus on what is most important. At the end of 2008 I closed the Store, because so many of the things that had been important, just weren’t anymore. I no longer felt supported by the Goddess in this work, knowing that Her needs for me were elsewhere. I wasn’t alone anymore. After all the hard work and so so many tears, it was time to let go of Lunation, for the time being.

No coincidences – Only perfection

The Priestess Path ended in 2009 and all of us were such different women than when we began. It had been one Rite of Passage after another, and now it was time to go off on our own. The work that I had been keeping myself busy with came to a close, and suddenly there was nothing supporting my roll up the sleeves and jump in nature. In less than a month I was admitted to hospital, with most of my organs seeming to be threatening to fail and no one could say what was wrong. It was like being the patient on that TV Show House, with six doctors standing around the bed, vacant expressions, and no one coming up with anything.

And so I rolled up my sleeves and got over that too. But not by jumping in this time. Instead it was through lessons in patience and silence. I had to learn how to be content in stillness.

This time gave me the opportunity to really work out what I wanted. Did I still want to facilitate Priestesses? Did I still want to retail Spell products? Did I want to write and create, or just stay at home raising cats and kids?

At the Spring Equinox, 2009 I got married to my beautiful Twin Flame, Bolj. Together with each our own kids we have a family of seven, and a heap of animals. I garden. I write. I facilitate Priestesses. I am a Witch, Earth Mama and awesome wife. I was just laughing with a friend this week about how we were sitting playing with Medicine cards, while her twelve year old daughter sat at the kitchen table trying to ignore us. Now I am the ‘weirdos’ and I am very content with that!

I am 28, the year of the Saturn Return and apparently time of upheaval and change. I wonder how this will effect me, how much more change can there be? Contentment has set in, but never complacency. I continue to learn and love and grow, and I am willing to change. Lunation has been re-launched once again, online where my time and personal space can not be dictated to. My work now has an even clearer focus and more empowered philosophy. I’m not trying to please anyone else anymore, content with what I know and who I have become. The shadows of the past are a distant memory, and the sacred environment I yearned for in the beginning is right here. I made my own magick, sometimes the hard way, but always the right way.

To me, this is the essence of Witchcraft. It is the essence of the Goddess. She is the story of growth and change. She is Love. And She is something every woman can not only encounter, but also become.

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To learn more about Hollie B, visit her website.

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